Kinsta Managed Hosting Review: Is it Worth The Money & Hype?

I’ve always loved blogging, but at times I feel frustrated and lonely.

Blogging is mostly a one-person show, and managing a blog is quite the task. It’s a misconception that blogging is only about writing, because those who blog know that blogging requires doing various other activities like:

  • Optimizing WordPress (or other blogging platform).
  • SEO.
  • Securing the website from hackers.
  • Promoting the blog.
  • Updating the design.
  • Social media marketing.
  • …and many more things…

That’s why I always say:

Blogging starts as a side project, but once it starts making money, you have to treat it like a real business.

Being a professional blogger for the past 9 years, I have had my fair share of ups and downs

Today, I’m sharing with you one decision that I took almost 2 years ago that has changed the course of my blogging quite dramatically.

You can imagine the impact of this one decision by the fact that 2 years back I was earning $15k/month, and now I’m earning more than double that.

So what happened two years back that changed the course of ShoutMeLoud and my blogging journey? 

My Experience After Shifting To Kinsta WordPress Hosting:

This article has great insight apart from my experience and review of Kinsta hosting. If you have a growing blog and you often find yourself stuck in technical hosting jargon, this article will be a life-changer for you.

Two and a half years ago (2014), ShoutMeLoud’s traffic was growing. I was hosted on WPEngine hosting which is a powerful managed WordPress host. ShoutMeLoud started receiving more than half a million visits every month, and that’s when things got a little difficult for me.

WPEngine, despite being a great hosting platform, had some weird pricing policies. They used to have a lower traffic limit and used to charge an overage price for exceeding that traffic. In fact, there was even a time when I paid close to $200 extra/month just for exceeding this traffic allowance. This was complete rubbish.

Can you imagine this situation?

I was in a big dilemma as I wanted more traffic, but I didn’t want to pay $1 for every 1000 visits (including bot visits). There were even times when I didn’t want to grow my blog so I wouldn’t have to pay these extra charges.

One day I gave up, and I finally decided to move to another host. I looked at my options and found Kinsta hosting which came as a recommendation from someone very knowledgeable.

Back in 2015, Kinsta was fairly new. I sent out a tweet about this friend’s recommendation and that caught the attention of Kinsta founder and CEO Mark Gavalda. We hopped on a Skype chat, and he was pretty confident about his offering.

Since I was already tired with excessive bills, and Kinsta was offering me everything for only $157/month, I had nothing to lose.

I thought:

In the worst case scenario, I will have to shift to another web host.

Finally, on 15th March 2015, I shifted ShoutMeLoud to Kinsta WordPress managed hosting using their free hosting migration service.

They took care of everything from moving the site to testing the load time. Once I verified everything, I changed my domain nameservers to point to Kinsta.

Here is my first ever bill from Kinsta that formed the foundation for growing ShoutMeLoud:

I believe buying a new web hosting plan and moving your site to a new host is the simple part. The most important things happen after that.

I will share my personal experience and review of Kinsta hosting during the conclusion of this guide, but first, let me quickly share the specs, features, and other important things about Kinsta managed WordPress hosting.

Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting Features:

Even though Kinsta is a highly reputed managed WordPress host, they are not for every kind of WordPress site. For anyone who is looking to compromise on hosting quality in order to save some bucks, Kinsta is definitely not for them.

For an entry level blog, a shared hosting plan is better as it usually costs <$10/month. Kinsta pricing starts at $100/month which is not cheap. It is one of the most expensive entry-level pricing structures in the WordPress hosting space.

However, for any WordPress or WooCommerce site, which is built to perform well and needs 100% uptime, this pricing is not a problem.

What’s under the hood of Kinsta is what really matters.

Let me quickly give you a glimpse of everything they offer.

Hosting on Google Cloud

With Kinsta hosting, your site is hosted on the Google Cloud platform, which is one of the most top-notch infrastructures you can get for your website.

You also have the option to choose your data center.

Google offers three locations in multi-regional mode: US Central, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.

They are strategically placed to offer the lowest latency anywhere in the world. Based on the country you wish to target, you should pick the location of your server.

Kinsta has become the first managed WordPress host exclusively powered by the Google Cloud platform and LXD container technology.

LXD offers the best of both worlds:

  1. Isolation with automatic scalability.
  2. A high level of transportability between host machines and full container snapshots to enable instant and complete backups of the whole environment.

Free Site Migration

If you are moving your existing WordPress site from any host to Kinsta, you don’t have to worry about migrating your site.

Just sign up for an account, use the migration form from your Kinsta dashboard, and their migration team will schedule a time and migrate your site for you.

There will be zero downtime with this migration, and they will even test your site before making it live. This way you are sure that everything works as intended after moving your WordPress site to Kinsta.

WordPress Expert Support

When you are paying so much, you can’t accept any sub-standard support. In the past two years, I have never had to worry about any WordPress issue.

If I ever have an issue, I just need to send them a quick ping, and within a few minutes, the issue is usually resolved.

There were only 1-2 instances when a few of my tickets took an hour or two to resolve, but that has only been a small minority of my experience with them.

What I really like about their customer service team is their dedication to finding a resolution. Instead of guessing and assuming, the kinds of suggestions and solutions I receive are top-notch and are obviously from very knowledgeable people.

Custom Dashboard

The dashboard offered by Kinsta is very powerful. Even if you are new to managed WordPress hosting, you will have no problem understanding it.

Daily Automated Backup and On-Demand Backup

If you are paying for any 3rd party backup service like VaultPress or Updraftplus, you can save your money.

Kinsta takes daily automated backup of your WordPress blog; you can also take an on-demand backup.

They store 14 instances of backup copies. With one click, you can always restore your backup to a live production site or to a staging site.

Staging Site

You can create a copy of your live site as a staging site (test environment) and can make all the changes there. After moving to Kinsta, this has become part of our development process.

First, a developer makes changes on a staging site, and once we approve it, we make it live to the production site.

The staging site is a must-have feature for any high-end managed hosting site. In fact, when you are shopping for managed WordPress hosting, ensure that that host offers a staging feature.

Free SSL & Advanced Tools Under Your Control

Kinsta offers free SSLs using LetsEncrypt, and it’s pretty easy to set up. You can enable SSL for your site within minutes. You can also use your own SSL certificate if you like. They have a special page called Tools from where you can do various things like restart the PHP, change the PHP engine, enable/disable SSL, and clear the cache.

They also have a custom WordPress plugin that automatically purges the cache when you publish a new post. You can also configure the plugin to purge the cache in any other way you want (e.g. when a comment is posted, when a post is updated, etc.).

Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with the infrastructure and features offered by Kinsta hosting.

How About Pricing?

When you are shopping for a quality managed WordPress hosting, pricing is usually one of the major catches. Kinsta is not so friendly for entry-level blogs, but for medium or high-traffic blogs, they are pretty awesome.

They offer various plans and you should pick one based on:

  • How many WordPress blogs/sites you want to host…
  • How much storage/bandwidth you need…
  • How many PHP workers you need…

They offer Business Plans, Enterprise Plans, and Custom Solutions. Here are their entry-level packages.

If you are not sure which package is right for you, follow these tips:

  • If it’s a new site, opt for the Business 1 package. You can always upgrade or downgrade the package later.
  • If you are moving your site from another hosting package, do check your existing storage and bandwidth usage. If your bandwidth usage is high, and you are not using DNS-level filtering like CloudFlare or Incapsula, start using it. This will lower down your bandwidth usage by more than 50%.
  • If it’s a high-traffic site, you should contact the Kinsta team and let them suggest a plan for you. They usually offer a discount on the yearly package. However, I suggest a monthly package to start with, and once you are sure of which plan is best for you, then opt for an annual package.

Currently, I’m on their Enterprise 1 package, as I’m hosting more than 15 websites and ShoutMeLoud uses a complex infrastructure.

We have the ShoutMeLoud Store powered by Easy Digital Downloads and also a custom deals section developed on WordPress. Moreover, we get more than 1.5 million page views a month, and I don’t want to limit ShoutMeLoud’s growth because of inefficient technology.

I usually pre-pay since I’m confident about their offering, and I also get to enjoy the discount when paying annually.

Conclusion: Is Kinsta hosting worth the money & the hype?

After hosting ShoutMeLoud for more than two years on Kinsta hosting, I can say it’s a complete value for the money.

They under promise and over deliver, which can easily be seen with their excellent customer support and continued high-quality performance of ShoutMeLoud.

The best thing that I got after moving to Kinsta hosting is:

I never have to worry about site downtime or other hosting related technical issues.

When you realize that time is money, these things add up to success. More than that, after moving to Kinsta I was able to scale up ShoutMeLoud without worrying about whether or not my hosting would be able to handle my traffic or website load.

I added the ShoutMeLoud Store and ShoutMeLoud Deals without worrying about server load. I also started using all the plugins I ever wanted, just so that I could test new features.

Kinsta gave the right infrastructure to @ShoutMeLoud so that it could become the most beloved blog…
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My suggestion for you is that if you ever find yourself in the same junction as I was a few years back, when you have to pick a managed WordPress hosting which can guarantee the right hosting environment for your website/blog to grow, pick Kinsta hosting.

You will thank me for this advice.

Check out Kinsta hosting

I could go on with my experience and review of Kinsta hosting, but it would be more fun if you test it out yourself. If your WordPress site requires a top-notch infrastructure and your budget allows it, don’t think twice…

Just get Kinsta hosting.

If you are also an existing customer of Kinsta hosting, do let me know your review in the comments section below. Have a question about Kinsta that I could answer? Feel free to ask in the comments!

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